Deadlifts + Squats = 6 pack?
Yes, you read it right! While coaching at Fuse I’ve heard the question “why do we never do ab work?” posed in many different guises. So here it is, the answer so many of you have been seeking. Why do we never do ab work? Let me introduce you to two of my best friends, the squat and the deadlift.
Remember that video of Troy attempting his 500# back squat? In case you don’t, here it is…
So the main question, once the laughter dies down. How the heck didn’t he fall over? Answer – midline stability. Tell me, when was the last time you saw him do a sit up, or a crunch, or a GHD (which is called a Glute Ham Developer for a REASON) maybe even a plank? Yeah, pretty much never! But he squats and deadlifts like a thing possessed – see where I’m going with this?
Two of the absolute best exercises for your abs are the squat and the deadlift. Both are compound movements (meaning they work multiple muscle groups simultaneously) so have enormous fat burning capabilities as well.
The deadlift works the core in it’s entirety – we are talking obliques, upper abs, lower abs, transverse abdominis (inner abs responsible for sucking everything in tight)
The core has to work double time during the squat to prevent injury and maintain upright posture because they are loaded top to bottom. So pretty much as soon as you lift that barbell from the rack, your core in it’s entirety is working at full capacity.
A few of us recently embarked upon a 6-week squat and deadlift program and I can honestly say it’s the best ab cycle I’ve ever been on. Not only did I gain significant PRs in the 6 weeks but I also have a 4-pack rather than a 2 pack. During this cycle I did no additional ab work at all. As they say – the proof is in the pudding!
It is fairly safe to say that abs are most definitely made in the kitchen, but if I had to pick only two ‘ab exercises’ to help carve out a 6 pack, the squat and deadlift would be the first two on my list!
– Coach Karen